Our Flower Patch

Inspiring a new generation of growers


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Getting ready for British Flowers Week

British Flowers Week Flag 2015

British Flowers Week is a celebration of British grown flowers and the florists who use them organised online by New Covent Garden Market. British Flowers Week this year is 15th June to 19th June. Lots of British flower growers are looking at ways to celebrate and spread the word about British flowers. On Friday and Saturday last week I had a stall with Saffy from Bath Flowers at the wonderful Toby Buckland Garden Festival at Bowood House.

British Flowers stall Myflowerpatch.co.uk ourflowerpatch.co.uk

We had a wonderful time selling British Flowers. Most of the flowers and foliage on the stall were grown on My Flower Patchbut we also had flowers from Clowance Flowers in Cornwall, a wholesaler who specialise in British flowers, and some amazing polytunnel grown Ammi and Cornflowers that Kate Gibbins of Windmill Farm Flowers grew in Somerset.

We sold jam jar posies, gathered bunches wrapped in brown paper, and bunches of ten Sweet William, perfect just as they are. We also made bespoke, celebration bouquets to order. Customers loved how scented the flowers are. Many people commented on how the scent of the Sweet Williams took them back to childhood and evoked happy memories. Some people noticed flowers that they had had on their wedding day, or those that grew in their Grandmas garden. One lady can be quoted as saying that our stall made her heart sing!

We also made some simple flower crowns, from twisted birch with flowers and foliage wired on. These were a big hit and looked great on lots of different people.

Man in a flower crown

Suits you!

Little girl in a flower crown ourflowerpatch.co.uk

A magical unicorn wearing a flower crown!

It was great to talk to so many different people about the flowers I grow. There was a huge amount of enthusiasm for British grown flowers, for their scent, their natural look and the environmental benefits of both growing them and also not importing flowers from halfway round the world. The bees loved our stand and we often found that as we were handing over a bunch of flowers to a customer we noticed that a bee was hitching a ride! A “free bee” with every bunch became a standing joke. So why not have a go at a British Flower stall yourself. Maybe as part of your school summer fair. To help you raise money for your young gardeners, to have a giggle and to help promote British Flowers. If you are doing a stall during British Flowers week do let us know and we can help spread the word.

As for the Garden Festival itself, we were too busy on the stand to partake of too many of the benefits of the event, but the people we talked to were all really enjoying themselves. They loved the setting at the beautiful Bowood House. They loved the range of stalls that were there, from wonderful plants and tools to delightful gifts and clothing. The food was amazing (I did manage to grab one of Truly Crumptious’s cinnamon sugar delights), Saffy loved the goat curry she had. The Festival atmosphere was second to none, wandering musicians, a Ukulele band, Stilt walkers and a children’s area with lots of fun activities and crafts to try. There was tree climbing for anyone over six brave enough to try, Croquet on the lawn and tours of the private walled gardens of Lady Lansdowne. There were two places for listening to talks. The Speakers Marquee and the Inspiration Marquee. There were talks given by such stellar horticulturalists as Toby Buckland, Anne Swithinbank, James Wong, and the only one I managed to squeeze in to listen to was the irrepressible Jonathan Moseley. Then in the Inspiration Marquee there was a packed programme with talks about meadow gardening, saving allotments, and talks from Chelsea Gold Medal winners such as Chris Smith and Rosy Hardy. So all in all, I would highly recommend attending the event next year. We are looking forward to it already if nothing else just to see our new found Horti friends again!

Toby Buckland, Sara Willman, Saffy Dodds Smith and Jonathan Moseley

Toby Buckland, Sara, Saffy and Jonathan Moseley (with a photobomb from Rob Hardy)

 


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Celebrating British Flowers Week

British Flowers Week Logo New Covent Garden Market

The beautiful British Flowers Week logo from New Covent Garden Market

This week has been British Flowers Week, a celebration of the revival of the British Flower Growing industry. Unlike thirty years ago, the bulk of flowers sold in this country (and that’s HUGE amounts) are not grown in Britain. People have already woken up to the importance of the availability of locally grown, seasonal food and there has been a revival in the numbers of people and schools growing their own. Now it’s the turn of flowers. At Our Flower Patch we want to turn the map of Britain flowery with schools in every local education authority growing a flower patch and making their blooms available to members of their local community.

Dog with British Flowers for British Flowers Week Ourflowerpatch.co.uk

Sara’s dog Tilly has created quite a stir on Twitter posing with British Flowers.

Sara is already supplying shops and businesses in her area. You can see how here on Katie Spicer’s blog.

Nigella & geum Katie Spicer Photography British flowers week ourflowerpatch.co.uk

Nigella, Geum, Feverfew, a pretty country meadow look.

 

Cally has been helping Fitzmaurice School in Bradford on Avon, our very first member school grow and sell their blooms to parents, teachers and friends at school and also through a shop in the town. They now have regular customers and an opportunity to spread the word further by running a flower stall at the school Strawberry Fair on Saturday.

Lonely bouquet for British Flowers week ourflowerpatch.co.uk

This Lonely Bouquet has made its way to North Wales from Wiltshire.

To celebrate British Flowers Week the young growers will be leaving a lonely bouquet somewhere in town. If you find it, take it home to enjoy or spread the love by passing it on to someone. Do let us know where it ends up though.

There’s still time (just) to enter the competition over on Wellywoman’s blog to win a copy of her fabulous book The Cut Flower Patch in her post about British Flowers Week. The competition closes at midnight Friday 20th June so hurry hurry! Its a really well written book, full of great information and gorgeous photos.

And if you want to support the revival of British grown flowers from the grass roots, why not talk to your local primary school and sponsor a flower patch? Details are on our website. You could help local children grow flowers like these.

Bees like the selection of flowers grown by Our Flower Patch school garden group members

Bees like ‘Our Flower Patch’